The Single Most Common Pitfall of Influencer-Driven Businesses
By: Dani Cohen
I've been working in the influencer space for a few years now, and I'm constantly
amazed by their ability to convert product. An influencer with a highly engaged
following is an incredibly powerful tool for a brand.
The influencers who have a solid understanding of their ability to convert for a brand
realize that they can convert for themselves, and many of them begin launching
businesses and products. Their businesses tend to spike rapidly – a combination of
audience anticipation and great PR is helpful – and then, most of them hit a sharp
drop-off, or at the very least, stagnation.
The single most common reason?
Time and time again, I watch influencers refuse to build out a team for their business.
The damaging social media culture that screams “grind all day” and “hustle all night”
has created a world in which hiring a team – whether it's an assistant, a creative
director, or another executive – is perceived as weakness.
The reality is that if someone is great at building their social media, they may not be
quite as great at accounting and assessing financial risk. If that same person is
incredible at content curation, negotiating contracts may be a weakness of theirs. No
single individual (influencer or otherwise) is phenomenal at every aspect of running a
business, which is where hiring a team whose strengths compensate for individual
weaknesses becomes critical.
There's no shame in asking for help – in fact, the goal as a business owner should be to
to manage a strong team, not micro-manage every aspect of the company. Any
influencer who tells me how well they handle their team is exponentially more
impressive to me than an influencer who tells me that they're a one-woman show.
When influencers start thinking strategically about their plan for the next year (or five)
and lose the mindset that they need to make as much profit as rapidly as possible, the
value in developing a strong employee base becomes apparent. Yes, it requires an
initial financial investment, but doesn't it make more sense to triple your business in 3
years because you have the bandwidth to do so rather than hit a wall in 6 months?
I frequently implore all my clients who run businesses to start identifying a timeline for
when they plan to hire employees. Trim the salary you pay yourself, cut unnecessary
spending, or just ditch the fear associated with handing off some responsibilities.
Controlling every facet of a business as a single individual is simply not sustainable.
When they avoid falling victim to the “do-it-all” mentality and find a trustworthy and
capable team, scalability and real growth becomes possible.